Thursday, September 06, 2018

College Football Recap

Clemson/Furman: Kelly Bryant may have passed and ran for touchdowns, but several other passes were off the mark. In his first game as a true freshman, Trevor Lawrence was clearly the best QB on the field. But with 15 starts under his belt, Bryant should start next week in College Station.
Dustin Fields impressed in his debut. He wasn't perfect, but of the top four QBs at Georgia and Clemson, he wasn't the worst. Jake Fromm picked up where he left off last year, demonstrating his best in class ability to find the open receiver.
Whereas Clemson has a very talented running back, Georgia has five. Holyfield got his first meaningful playing time in three years, and did not disappoint. Cook looked good as well before committing the most boneheaded play in memory. He will be missed in the first half next week in Colombia. But look for a big second half from a fresh Cook against weary Gamecock defenders.
Georgia's win was perhaps the most dominant of the afternoon (until Alabama rolled Louisville). After posting 38 first half points, Fromm was done for the day. Fields was pulled in the third quarter.

I kept looking for Georgia's backup kicker, but Ricardo made all his placements and boomed every kickoff deep into the end zone. Little was said of the new punter, who boomed two 50 yarders.

Tech did well, keeping Alcorn State off the scoreboard. Unfortunately QB Taquon Marshall didn't magically become a passer in the off-season. The new unis looked ok, except the bland pants and jerseys with the number four.
Best uni matchup? Norte Dame / Michigan. Except the Irish's white shoes. Loved the Wolverines' plain black Air Jordan's. As usual many experts are placing the Irish into the playoff. Not sure what their schedule looks like, but I don't see Wimbush excelling against a defense from Bama, Clemson, or Georgia.

Tennessee lost, but competed well against West Virginia. The Mountaineers have a Heisman contending QB in ex-Gator Will Grier, but exactly how good the Vols will be is still to be determined. One thing is known: a good passer can beat Tennessee.

As usual you can count on Louisville for two things: bad uniforms and cheap shots. The latter just added fuel to the Bama fire, who put up fifty against the Cards at a neutral site. Not sure Clemson will be able to beat Louisville that bad in Death Valley. Even in victory Saban was on edge, exploding in response to Maria Taylor's innocent question. He later called her to apologize.

Auburn/Washington: good win for the Ware Eagles. But at the end...intentional grounding? Could've been pass interference on Auburn. First down Washington. Could've been an entirely different ending.

ESPN media darling Penn State had to fight for their life against Appalachian State, coming back to force overtime. ESPN and ABC can quit talking talking about Heisman trophies and national championships, but they won't. Such joy in Happy Valley for edging App State in overtime. We'll get to see the Nittany Lions next week in prime time against rival Pitt, who in recent years has given Penn State all they can handle.

LSU/Miami: the Canes new environmentally friendly uniforms showed up, but the players did not. LSU looked better than expected, and will make opponents' life hard the rest of the season. Mark Richt took some abuse for his team's performance, but it has to be remembered than he exceeded expectations last year taking over a program with its cupboards bare. Give him time to get a better QB, and the Canes will be more competitive.

Virginia Tech/FSU: another non-shocker. Willie Taggart already knew he had a lot of work to do. I was amazed to discover he has a losing record at every stop in his career, except last year's 7-5 record at Oregon. But the Noles looked bad, tripping over themselves, getting a punt blocked, lots of penalties, etc. The Hokies could be a force to be reckoned with.

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